Oxford Wet N Wild
For an adrenaline-inducing summer holiday activity, try Oxford Wet N Wild situated on the scenic Queenford Lakes, just outside of Wallingford. Wet N Wild offers paddle boarding, pedalo-ing and, most excitingly, it’s very own Total-Wipeout-style obstacle course. Having been refurbished last summer, it’s quickly becoming a local treasure for summer holiday fun.
A Picnic by the River
Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds are famous for their breathtaking landscapes and tranquil countryside, so why not get together a picnic and prepare to take in the view. Oxfordshire offers a wealth of perfect picnic destinations, but you can always also explore the rural areas of the city itself. From feeding the ducks at Christ Church, to relaxing by the lake at Oxford University Parks, or having a paddle at Port Meadow, Oxford has plenty to offer when it comes to affordable riverside fun.
Try your hand at possibly the most quintessentially Oxonian activity of all: punting. There are three main boathouses in Oxford: Magdalen, Cherwell and Folly Bridge, where you can attempt to master the art of balancing and manoeuvring a punt whilst sipping on a cup of freshly made Pimm’s. On the other hand, if you’d like a slightly less challenging summer’s day, then you can always hire a pedalo instead.
For a full day of Oxfordshire exploration, try Oxford Kayak Tours where you can immerse yourself in a complete guided tour of the city, all from the comfort (or not) of your very own kayak. The tours are suitable for all abilities, from first timers to experienced kayakers, and can last up to five hours. This is the perfect opportunity to add some adventure to exploring the city, all whilst learning a new skill or indulging in a favourite pastime.
Cotswold Wildlife Park
The Wildlife Park has a host of water-loving creatures, from flamingos, to penguins, to one of the largest reptile collections in the UK. They have even recently received an Aldabra Giant Tortoise from the government of The Seychelles, so is certainly worth checking out for those interested in all things wildlife.
Crocodiles of the World, Brize Norton
Crocodiles of the World is home to not only crocodiles, but also meerkats, Giant tortoises and Kookaburras, not to mention being one of only four zoos in the UK to house a rare and merciless Komodo Dragon. The crocodile zoo offers regular talks and feeding presentations with each of its main attractions, as well as under-water viewings and animal encounters, making for both a fun and educational family day out.
Hardwick Parks, Witney
Hardwick Parks offers a range of action-packed water sports, from ringo riding – often popular with younger children and families – to water-skiing and wakeboarding for those looking for something a bit more extreme. The coaches at Hardwick are trained to support everyone of any ability, so if you feel like trying your hand at something new or reigniting a love for water sports, then Hardwick offers the ideal opportunity to get your adrenaline going.
Also available at Hardwick Parks, and across Oxfordshire at places such as Milton Pools Fishery or Upper Farm Fishery, is the opportunity to set up camp and spend the day fishing. Many places across Oxfordshire offer tuition packages, so don’t worry if you haven’t tried it before. For guaranteed family fun in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside, as well as the opportunity to learn a new skill, take the plunge and learn to fish.
Another great way to spend a summer’s day is to travel down the Thames in style. Hobbs of Henley offers a number of different boat trips, including public cruises and self-drive boats, all suitable for the whole family. If you’re looking for something extra special, there is also a calendar of special event cruises comprising a wildlife cruise and a gin, craft beer and swing jazz cruise, so whether you’re an animal lover or a party animal, Hobbs has the perfect trip for you.
Hinksey Outdoor Pool
Hinksey’s popular outdoor swimming pool is the ideal location to fully immerse the whole family in holiday mode. The pool is heated so even if the weather isn’t totally tropical you can still comfortably have a swim. With both shallow and deep ends, as well as a café, various water features and a large sunbathing area, the pool is the perfect place for the whole family to escape for the day, right in the heart of Oxfordshire.